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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer Was A Pioneer Of The Power Suit In Australia

I don't think any man or woman ever flattered Kerry Packer by telling him how handsome he was. He was by all accounts a very unattractive man but what Packer did not have in looks he made up for in power, style, gusto, bravado, wit and charm.

There are a lot of journalists and businessmen in Australia that would know far more about the topic of Kerry Packer than myself. You can find a very small offering from Wikipedia on the big man and there are numerous books written by Australian journalists such as Paul Barry's 'Rise And Rise Of Kerry Packer' or Neil Chenoweth's 'Packer's Lunch' which will offer you a great deal more insight. There are the usual tales that he offered to flip a coin with a Texan for his entire wealth after the Texan told Packer 'You can't push me around, I'm worth a hundred million'. To this day you can sit in a cafe and if you hear Packer's name mentioned you can guarantee the punch line 'Well I'll flip you for it' will get mentioned at some point. 

The one thing the late Kerry Packer has never been accused of, which I am happy to finger him for, is being a style icon of the Australian business community. Although somewhat British and conservative in his dress sense, Kerry Packer is in my mind an icon of Australian style. From the board room to the polo field his sense of dress always matched his character. 

Today I leave you with a wonderful video from 1991 in which the House of Reps Select Committee on Print Media tries it's best to make Packer accountable to the Australian Government to which he rejects all their assertions that they constitutionally have a right to harass him about his business interests. It is now part of Australian folklore.

NB: Note a younger and somewhat deferential Peter Costello as part of the Reps Committee

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